Life is so much more than a series of milestones.
When I listen to some people, they think that happiness and satisfaction are attained by checking items off a list.
- Graduate high school
- Graduate college
- Get a job
- Get a retirement plan
- Get married
- Get a dog
- Buy a house
- Have children
- Put them through high school and college
Although a bit hyperbolic, some people actually see some sense in this list as if crossing off any of these items could mean you’re closer to happiness. The “plan” definitely includes getting a steady job, even if you hate it. Build your résumé, acquire experience and demonstrate loyalty to your job.
Which brings me to an interesting question: where is the loyalty to you? To your passions and doing what you love? Where is the room to explore, learn and experience? Where is the part of the movie where you get to live?
People want a to-do list to attain happiness. A step-by-step guide to being fulfilled… as if such a thing could be possible.
Happiness happens… it isn’t amassed, or accrued, there is no interest to be gained… it just is or isn’t, it happens or does not. Most interesting to note is that a lot of the people who have actually completed most items on that list aren’t necessarily happy.
That’s because statistics, odds and studies conducted give an idea of some things that have made some people kind of sort of happy. Then again, you are not “some people”. You are you and you are free to define happiness as you see fit and pursue it with as much passion as you can muster.